WHO Hands over Two Medical Camp Kits to Ministry of Health
THIMPHU (19 October 2017) – On Thursday, 19 October 2017, Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO Representative a.i., handed over two Medical Camp Kits (MCKs) to the Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ugen Dophu, in a ceremony at the Ministry of Health in Thimphu.
The two MCKs supplement three MCKs that were already handed over in the past year, which are stationed in the referral hospitals of Bhutan. The new MCKs are to be stationed in district hospitals Eastern Bhutan as part of the “Health Sector Emergency Preparedness Project”, which is jointly supported by the European Union and WHO.
The Secretary of Health, Dr Ugen Dophu, acknowledged with thanks the contribution to emergency preparedness and response in Bhutan, saying, “Bhutan is very prone to disasters, in particular earthquakes, where Bhutan is classified in the Zone 4 area. The MCKs will allow us to continue to provide services at least at the referral hospitals, even when the facilities are severely damaged.”
MCKs are temporary health facility structures that ensure the continuity of primary healthcare services until damaged health facilities are restored in the case of major emergencies. MCKs are designed by WHO South-East Asia Region to provide in-patient and out-patient services and have provisions for male and female wards, as well as for staff and consultation rooms. The temporary facilities are solar-powered and contain water and sanitation facilities, and can be assembled within 24 hours in the event of emergencies.
In November of 2016, a total of 60 participants from the Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Body Guards, De-Suungs, Thimphu Thromde, Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Emergency Medical Services Division of the Ministry of Health and staff from all three regional referral hospitals underwent a training in Thimphu by experts from WHO on the appropriate way to set-up an MCK in a timely and secure fashion in the event of emergencies. A second such training will be organized in November 2017 in Mongar.
The MCKs form part of the Health Sector Emergency Preparedness Project. This includes procurement of materials, assessment of hospital services and hospital building structures, development of emergency plans and guidelines and building of in-country capacity on emergency preparedness and response.